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Game 34: Hive Live

New Jersey 99 (3–33) | New Orleans 103 (18–16)

Good thing we don't count style points, eh?

The Hornets held about a 10 point lead through most of this game, but a dry spell in the fourth (particularly from deep and from the stripe) turned what really should have been a blowout into a nail-biter.

Positive Takeaways: the Hornets won what could have been a (death) trap game, David played like a fiend (32 points in 34 minutes), the Hornets continue to impress in a major way when it comes to passing, Darius continues to be efficient off the bench, the Hornets are on a 5 game winning streak, and the Saints are in the playoffs (with a bye!).

Negative Takeaways: the Hornets needed 40 minutes of Chris Paul to defeat a 3 win team at the hive (hey! that's the name of this blog!), the Hornets have only won a single game by double-digits (against the Clippers) and are averaging a 5.7 point margin when they win (4.4 if you pull out the Clipper game), and they allowed Courtney Lee and Keyon "Can you believe I still have an NBA contract?" Dooling to score 49 points between them.

Baby steps, y'all. Baby steps.

(Bullets after the jump.)

  • Final percentages for both teams (FG / 3P / FT): NJN 44.6 / 52.9 / 94.1, NOH 46.4 / 23.8 / 76.9. Those last two were killer.
  • As the above bullet indicates, the Nets were lights out from deep. Granted, it was only 2 guys, but still.
  • CP looked reticent to shoot for most of the evening and finished the game with only 9 shots despite 40 minutes of play. Hard to gauge if he's still missing his stroke or if he was just determined to get everyone involved (his 18 assists would back up that assumption). Hope he works out whatever is bothering him.
  • DX was a beast tonight. 13 of 18 from the field for 32 points (including a trey) to go with his 10 boards, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers. In 34 minutes. Wow.
  • Songailia was great off the bench. He nailed 5 straight shots at the start of the second quarter (CP just kept finding him at the top of the key and the Nets never seemed to adjust to him) and he finished with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 4 dimes, and a turnover in 19 minutes.
  • Bad nights for Marcus and Devin. They managed 13 points between them, but it was the combined 3 of 16 from the field that really hurt.
  • Tough season for the Jersey Shore (and their basketball team's pretty terrible, too... HEY-YO!). But seriously, the Nets seem like the wayward home for castoffs, misfits, and veteran sixth men. Seriously, ever time they subbed someone into the game, I thought, "Wow, he's still in the NBA? I thought he retired. Or maybe went here." I mean, seriously: did anyone outside of the Garden State think that Trenton Hassell still had a job? Not surprisingly, there isn't a single player on that team who can takeover a game or make an opponent pay if they leave him in single coverage (or even uncovered). Probably explains the 3 wins.
  • That having been said, Dooling and Lee killed us tonight, especially from deep (where the two combined for all 9 of the team's treys). Lee was especially impressive. He was everywhere. The Nets had a nice play drawn up for him where someone would drive into the lane along the baseline, drawing multiple defenders. In the meantime, Lee would come flying into the lane, the guys with the ball would sneak a backdoor pass, and Lee would lay it in untouched by the defense. Pretty cool. Now they just need a few more plays.
  • Bad night for Devin Harris and mediocre showings for Chairman Yi and Brooke Lopez. Totals were ok-to-good for the latter two, but the combined 9 for 24 seemed low for a pair of bigs (even considering Yi's range).
  • Thanks to their bye in the playoffs, the Saints came out in droves tonight. Among the attendees were Usama Young, Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas, and Drew Brees (who made the fans erupt so loudly, you'd think the place was sold out... it wasn't). Nice to see them supporting their fellow sports brethren.
  • In honor of the king's birthday, it was "Elvis Night" at the hive (look! I did it again!). I only mention this because halftime featured the worst Elvis impersonator I've ever seen... in the history of people. Not that I'm an expert on Elvis impersonators (or singing, for that matter), but sheesh this guy was awful. Off key, off pitch, off rhythm, and off base (which is even the wrong sport entirely). 
  • I love David West. Just thought it was worth reiterating that. Have a great weekend.

Composed to: Spoon's Kill the Moonlight

Opponent's Take: Nets Are Scorching

Nets vs Hornets boxscore